President Lincoln: Vision


Lincoln (1858) said, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it”. Even more than his essential trait and skill competencies, Lincoln carefully practiced diversity through his great vision. During the war, Lincoln delegated many policy initiatives to his Cabinet. However, he led the nation and resolutely achieved many goals from the Republican platform. Through his economic leadership, the United States passed the Legal Tender Act, a National Banking Act, a transcontinental railroad via the Pacific Railroad Act, Homestead Acts, and a Land Grant College Act. While leading the nation to the end of a great Civil War, Lincoln shepherded the great vision he always believed in from his early rise in politics to the Presidency. He transformed the nation from subsistence farming to the beginnings of an economic dynamo, all with great care in furthering the common person and providing a chance, an opportunity to better oneself. (Gienapp, 2002)


Tichy (1986) wrote about transformational leadership and a quote seems to speak almost directly on Lincoln when he said, “This vision of the future must be formulated in such a way that it will make the pain of changing worth the effort” (p. 122). As Gienapp (2002) reiterated about Lincoln, “…his leadership demonstrated the combination of resolute ends and flexible means that would be the hallmark of his presidency” (p. 92). Reinforced by Tichy (1986):

The essence of transformational leadership is the capacity to adapt means to ends—to shape and reshape institutions and structures to achieve broad human purposes and moral aspirations…the secret of transforming leadership is the capacity of leaders to have their goals clearly and firmly in mind, to fashion new institutions relevant to those goals, to stand back from immediate events and day-to-day routines and understand the potential and consequences of change. (p. 187)

At the height of his political life (Abe was cut short on leading the nation through the Reconstruction) Abraham Lincoln was stopped by an assassin’s bullet. Nevertheless, Lincoln’s leadership, morals, values, vision, and immense skill saved the United States from certain disaster. In preserving the Union and abolishing the abhorrent practice of slavery, Abraham Lincoln guided the country to a noble place in history.




Galbraith, J.K. (1977). In The age of uncertainty. In R. Andrews, M. Biggs, & M. Seidel, et al. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. Search by “leadership.” Number: 24326. Retrieved November 2, 2004, from

Gienapp, W.E. (2002). Abraham lincoln and civil war america a biography. New York: Oxford.

Keneally, T. (2003). Abraham lincoln. New York: Penguin.

Lincoln, A. (n.d.). In Six months at the white house (Carpenter, 1867). In Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations requested from the congressional research service. Platt, S., (ed.) (1989). Search by “Abraham Lincoln.” Number: 110. Retrieved November 8, 2004, from

Lincoln, A. (1858). In The collected works of abraham lincoln. (Basler, 1953). In Respectfully quoted: A dictionary of quotations requested from the congressional research service. Platt, S., (ed.) (1989). Search by “Abraham Lincoln.” Number: 936. Retrieved November 8, 2004, from

Tichy, N.M., & DeVanna, M.A. (1986). The transformational leader. New York: John Wiley.



© Neal Huffman 2015 all rights reserved



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The United States Constitution: Part one


In class number three (Introduction to Law) at the Community College of Aurora (“CCA”), the discussion focused on the legal history of the United States, the origins of our law, and the United States Constitution.

The start of the discussion referred to our beginnings as a republic.  A republic is a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen by them.  Possessing a republican form of government presents many opportunities for legal professionals.  The first important aspect of understanding the formation of our laws is the sources of law.

State constitutions and the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land, are sources of law as are: federal and state statutes, judicial decisions (stare decisis), ordinances, executive orders, treaties, and administrative agency rules and regulations. Depending on schools of jurisprudential thought, the sources of our law impose the functions of the law, such as keeping the peace, orderly change, basis of compromise, and, perhaps most importantly, guaranteeing individual freedom.

Our law derived primarily from English common law stemming from law courts, chancery courts and the law merchant, with a bit of codified law such as the Napoleonic Code – still used in Louisiana.  Today, our system combines the law and equity courts into one main system.  Common law is derived from decisions by court judges who set precedent for later cases which are similar. 

© 2012 Neal Huffman all rights reserved